Coaching Baseball: Eliminating Bat Drag

Bat drag examples

Bat Drag Examples

How To Identify & Eliminate “Bat Drag”

So what is bat drag? Bat drag happens when the player “pulls” his hands through the hitting zone with the barrel dipped below the hands.  and the player never really “unhinges” or “clears” his hands through contact. One thing to look for when identifying bat drag is the back elbow. It will lead to the ball at the approach position and the bat lays down behind the hands. To see better pictures of bat drag, check out Chris O’Leary’s study HERE.
Furthermore, players that have “bat drag” are having a problem synching their upper and lower body. To put in other words, their hips may fly open too soon.

This causes the hitter to try to generate power with just their hands and their swing becomes too long.

Negatives:

  • Slow bat speed
  • Timing is off: Most bat draggers lunge to the ball instead of letting the ball get to them
  • The distance of the ball does not match the effort of the swing
  • Hits the ball weak to the pull side
  • Gets beat inside
  • Hits the ball on the handle a lot
  • Hitter will set up their stance far away from the plate.  They will hit outside pitches better.
  • Cannot catch up with high pitch

Causes:

  • Uses top hand too much to start swing which creates the pulling motion.  This is generally due to the fact that this is usually your dominant hand.
  • back elbow comes underneath lead elbow
  • Hitter’s hands loses connection with body
  • Bat may be too heavy or end loaded.
  • Lead arm bars
  • Casting hands away from body
  • Back shoulder dips
  • Lunging at the ball

Remedies:

If you are interested in a training aid that will absolutely clean up your player’s hitting mechanics (to include eliminating bat drag) check out the Swing XP. Check out this quick video below.

    • I highly recommend checking out www.chrisoleary.com He has great hitting advice and tons of drills to help eliminate bat drag…like the “Open Top Hand Drill”.
    • Hit off a Tanner Tee in the low and away position. This is the only tee that will adjust low enough to reach knee high believe it or not. Place the tee directly off the back knee on the outside corner
    • Slow motion Torque Drill
    • Use the Advanced Skills Tee by Muhl Tech. This tee will STOP the player from upper-cutting if it is used enough to store that muscle memory.
    • Increase core strength to recruit core muscles during the swing and decrease the dominance of the hands in the swing.
    • Increase forearm strength with forearm roll exercises
    • One handed soft toss (use top hand only and choke up)
    • Correct grip…line up your “door knocker” knuckles
    • Get your back elbow down in the slot…not letting it pass your hip prematurely
    • Think of your hands as the pivot point or fulcrum to a lever…your hands need to stop the forward motion and become this pivot point to create a whipping action, similar to chopping down a tree with an axe

Stay on plane…
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About CoachK

Owner and head instructor at Colonial Baseball Instruction. CBI serves Southern VA with baseball camps and private lessons. CBI also developed My Coach: Baseball App and sells a variety of baseball training aids.